Recent Posts in holiday music
December 20, 2013
by Bill Pearis
Love holiday music but sick of hearing "Christmas Wrapping," "All I Want for Christmas (is You)" and "Feliz Navidad"? Were you just thinking, "I wish there were more low-fi sleezoid punk and pop Christmas songs that occasionally feature references to weed?" Well the folks at Burger Records are here to help. They recently upped a mammoth, 75-track holiday mix. It features The Muffs, The Explorers Club, The Three O'Clock, Shannon & the Clams, Cleaners from Venus, Devon Williams, Pop Zeus, Idiot Glee, White Fang and (obviously) lots, lots more. The compilation kicks off with "Every Year So Different," a funky number from Cornershop featuring TRWBADOR that is pretty good and there are some other real gems in here too.
Stream the whole thing below...
December 19, 2013
by Bill Pearis
Pernice and Blake
The New Mendicants, the new-ish project from non-Canadians living in Toronto Joe Pernice and Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub), have just announced that their debut album, Lime, will be out on January 28 via Blake and Pernice's new label, XPT Records. If you like the lush, harmon-laden guitar pop that both The Pernice Brothers and Teenage Fanclub are known for, you're gonna like this too, and know pretty much what you're getting already. You can stream "Sarasota" from the album below.
While you wait for the album, The New Mendicants have a holiday 7" out now and you can stream the A-side, "A Very Sorry Christmas," below. The New Mendicants will be touring the UK and Ireland in the new year. No North American dates yet, but Joe will be out with Wesley Stace in January, and will be playing NYC solo at Rockwood Music Hall on 1/10 (tickets).
In other news, Joe tells us that a new Pernice Brothers album is on the way as well, which will be titled either Spread the Feeling or It's a Long Way Up. Look for that later in 2014.
Streams and New Mendicants album art, below...
Darlene Love at "Right 2 Rock" benefit in October (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
The holiday season is upon us, and its spirit and celebrations are just about everywhere you look. If you're looking for some musical ways to celebrate in NYC, here's a few options.
Like she usually does, Darlene Love is celebrating the holidays at BB King's. She already played one of her shows there earlier this month (12/6), and since we last spoke, she's added two more happening on Friday (12/20) and January 4. Friday's show is sold out (but the venue says tickets may be available the day of the show), and tickets for the 1/4 show are available.
Other previously discussed holiday shows at BB King's include Darlene's fellow A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector singer Ronnie Spector (of the Ronettes) on Sunday (12/22) (tickets), and Jewish a cappella group The Maccabeats on Christmas (12/25) (tickets).
Street Dogs, the Boston punk band fronted by former Dropkick Murphy Mike McColgan, will play "Wreck the Halls" at Highline Ballroom on Friday (12/20) with Chosen Ones and Done With You. Tickets are available.
Doveman collaborator Justin Vivian Bond and friends are playing holiday shows at Joe's Pub on Sunday (12/22) and Monday (12/23). The shows are billed as "Let It Show!" and the description reads, "Celebrate the return of the light with Justin Vivian Bond and friends with an evening of Holiday inspired songs and stories. Expect surprises! (bring your own lumps of coal and watch them turn into diamonds) Keywords: starstruck, babies, booze, ox and ass. Oh Come All Ye Faithful!" Tickets for both shows are available.
While Union Hall won't be having any music, they will be open on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and the following day (12/26) to celebrate the holidays. The kitchen will be closed, but the bar will be serving holiday-themed drinks, and they'll have Christmas bocce ball and a fireplace going. The venue opens at 4 PM on 12/24 and 12/26 and 5 PM on 12/25.
Like last year, The Bell House will host the Harry Potter Yule Ball on Saturday (12/21) featuring sets from Harry and the Potters, The Potter Puppet Pals, Lauren Fairweather, and half-Mad can o' Destroy. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
And another Christmas Eve option is 'Christmas Eve for the Jews' with comedians Joel Chasnoff, Judy Gold and Todd Barry at City Winery on Christmas Eve. This one's sold out, but you can sign up for the waiting list in case tickets become available.
Brooklyn Bowl has holiday celebrations all weekend with Jimmy Hill and the Allstarz Band featuring Black Velvet (aka James Brown Jr) at the early show on Saturday (12/21) (tickets) and Jonathan Toubin's Soul Clap and Dance-Off with guest selector James Chance at the late show (tickets). Then on Sunday (12/22), the Preservation Hall Jazz Band does their Creole Christmas show at the venue (tickets).
Those are just a few holiday-themed music options in NYC. What else?
By Doug Moore
Meek is Murder at Cake Shop, 2010 (more by Fred Pessaro)
The inevitable yearly parade of holiday-themed silliness marches on today with some help from Converge-esque BK riffers Meek is Murder. Though the band just released a short LP in October, they hit the studio on Monday (12/16) to record an even shorter 3-song "holiday EP" and managed to turn it around in time for free download availability today. The band recorded it at the Converse Rubber Tracks studio with noted Flight of the Conchords producer Matt Shane. Weird.
Aside from its song titles and some schlocky jingle bells at the beginning of its first cut, Infant Worship is mercifully light on the overtly Xmas-related content -- it's just a trio of brief scorchers. Strangely, this stuff is just as strong as the band's other material to date, no matter how tossed-off the songs and tracking session may have been.
You can stream Infant Worship below; it's available for free (or pay-what-you-want) download on their Bandcamp. Their 2013 LP, Everything is Awesome Nothing Matters, is streaming below as well.
by Andrew Sacher
Mae pretty much called it quits a couple years ago (besides a few reunion shows earlier this year), and singer Dave Elkins has since begun focusing on his solo project Schematic. To get in the holiday spirit, Dave's taken on a cover of Paul McCartney's love-it-or-hate-it Christmas song, "Wonderful Christmastime." He gives the song an airy spin, veering away from the bouncy original. The cover is available to purchase, and a stream of the song makes its premiere in this post, which you can hear below...
December 18, 2013
Arcade Fire just appeared on Zach Galifianakis' mock talk show Between Two Ferns, and to get in the holiday spirit they put their spin on an interesting version of "Little Drummer Boy. The episode also featured Samuel L. Jackson and Tobey Maguire.
Watch the episode below...
December 17, 2013
Cat Power at Station to Station (more by Lukas Hodge)
In a new Apple holiday commercial, Cat Power takes on "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" (via Matador), and if it's snowing where you are today too, it's a nice time to check out this little holiday gift, which you can do below...
It's "Christmas Carols Week" on The Colbert Report where different musical guests will be invited on the show to do an old holiday chestnut. Things kicked off last night with Grammy nominees The National and Gregg Allman doing "Silver Bells." Stephen Colbert joined in too. Is it as good as "The Gravy Boat Song"? Decide for yourself -- check it out below.
December 13, 2013
by Bill Pearis
Christmas albums are tricky business. I think most people want new holiday music, but problem is most of it is unmemorable at best. Have we had a new holiday classic since Mariah Carey's "All I Want is Christmas Is You"? Erasure have circumvented the issue on their album album, Snow Globe, by making an Erasure album that also just happens to be holiday themed. Vince Clark and Andy Bell don't mess with their nearly 30-year synthpop formula with a lot of sleigh bells or children singing. Is it a new classic? The Quietus argues, at the least, it's a great Erasure album:
The yin to Depeche Mode's gloom-wallowing yang, even when blighted by tragedy, flirting with despair, or singing in a dramatic baritone (see 'Blood On The Snow'), Erasure cannot help but remain inspirationally, extraordinarily, enviably optimistic and ultimately uplifting. I seriously felt a far greater range and intensity of emotions listening to the 3:35 minutes of neo-synthpop anthem 'Make It Wonderful' than I did throughout in the entire hour and a half of that much-trumpeted 3D movie in which Sandra Bullock gets stranded on a bus on a boat in space for a bit. 'Make It Wonderful' and its poignant-yet-pumping sister track 'Loving Man' aren't directly related to Christmas. They're just a couple of stirring, tear-inducing, sadness-tinged, fucking irresistible love songs. In that respect, they're thematically reminiscent of Frankie Goes To Hollywood's heartstring-tugging Christmas ditty 'The Power of Love', which didn't have much to do with that Jesus fella beyond its nativity-themed video. Oh, and they're two of the best Erasure songs to date.You can stream the whole album and check out the videos for "Make it Wonderful" and "Gaudete" (both done in Rankin-Bass style stop-motion animation) below...
December 12, 2013
by Andrew Sacher
No Sleep Records was responsible for many of the year's great punk, emo, and hardcore (and other genres in that realm) releases this year, and the label's presence increased in the indie rock community thanks to a new love affair between emo and indie. To celebrate the holidays, the label has given us a free compilation of holiday music from a few standout artists on the label, including Allison Weiss, Maps For Travelers, State Faults, and others, plus a couple artists not on the label, including Harvey Danger's Sean Nelson (who put out a pretty underrated solo album this year). You can download the album for free at bandcamp and stream it in full below...